Skip to Content
Bet SBG Poker Bet SBG Bet SBG

After Rio, K. Durant will play even better next season

Kevin Durant next seasonGolden State Warriors basketball betting fans have a two-fold reason to be happy; not only are they getting Kevin Durant next season, but it will also be an improved Kevin Durant – or at the very least he will not play any worse than he did last season, which is nothing to scoff at, either. And the same goes for Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Carmelo Anthony, and the rest of the 2016 United States men's national basketball team (currently performing in the Rio Olympics). Well, if they are lucky to be among the 65% who play better in the NBA season following the Olympic Games or a FIBA World Cup, that is.

Jim Pagels of FiveThirtyEight.com had already arrived at this conclusion about two years ago, but his calculations failed to consider players’ lost playing time due to injury. In order to fix this limitation, his colleague Neil Paine “generated projected wins above replacement (WAR) totals for them each year… and compared their actual WAR with what the system projected.” Fans who bet on NBA might be wondering what all of that means. Join the club. Suffice it to say it involves an inordinate amount of math, and possibly – and hopefully – Professor Farnsworth and Ethan ‘Bubblegum’ Tate working together.

What matters is that adding the Olympics or the World Cup to a an already exhausting schedule – that only gets worse when a team makes the playoffs (and most of the teams that contributed players to the Dream Team did) – does not necessarily add to the physical and mental burden that any given player faces ordinarily. On the contrary, it might even give a basketballer an edge over his fellow players who stay at home. And while there is no evident cause-and-effect relationship at play here, there is a lot to be said about the learning experience that an international event entails – a process that begins at home. Take for instance strange bedfellows Green and DeAndre Jordan, whose interplay has been so good it would be hard for basketball betting fans to deny they have learned from each other, despite being once and future bitter rivals.

What about injuries? It is quite logical to reach the conclusion that a member of the USA team would be more prone to injury, by the sheer action alone of stepping out into a court to perform competitively for a prize that, according to Anthony and Jordan, outvalues an NBA championship ring. For example, Indiana Pacers Paul George broke his right leg worst than Sycho Sid coming off the second turnbuckle during a U.S. national team's intrasquad scrimmage at UNLV in 2014. As a result, the small forward missed all but the last six games of the 2014-15 season. To non-believing basketball betting fans we say two things; first, injuries come with the territory, and second, even such an excruciating fracture didn’t deter George from returning to the USA squad and brave many hardships in Brazil so as to be able to represent his country.